Sunday, October 23, 2011

Art by Greg Martin


"Ave Christus, morituri te salutamus!"

   I n GRACE Pt 4 we briefly discussed the "Who?" which answered one of the foundational truths we see/learn in Luke 5:1-11. Now we will discuss the second question "What?", i.e. what is God like, what qualities and/or characteristics does he possess and manifest?. This second question needs to be answered so we can lay a solid foundation for anything else we see/learn in this passage. In my previous post that question is first answered with one word, "Holy"*. While it is true God possesses many other qualities/characteristics, and it is true we learn of many of His other characteristics in Luke 5: 1-11, it is also true this one quality is foundational to all the others. It is this quality that is the very essence of God.  So where do we find it in Luke 5:1-11?
"When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!'”. For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, 'Do not be afraid....' (Luke 5:8-10/NKJV)

   P eter falls before Christ and states; "Depart from me, for I am sinful man, O Lord.", because he recognizes (at this time) Jesus is not just a rabbi to be highly respected, but the representative of God.  Consequently, Peter understands Jesus has the power and authority of God and God's very presence is with Him.  This in turn brings about the realization (by Peter) of the holiness of God.  His response is more fully discussed here, here, and also in a previous post.  Peters response is reflective of the children of Israel in Exodus 34 when Moses had to place a veil over his face;
"Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him." (Exodus 34: 29-30/NKJV)

Paul also mentions the veil of Moses in 2 Corinthians;
"...unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away."(2 Corinthians 3:13/NKJV)

-for more information on the veil over Moses face see here, here and here. However, there is a difference in how the presence of God was manifested with Moses and with Christ.  It is obvious that Jesus (nor is it recorded anywhere in scripture) did not "shine" as did Moses, rather the presence of God was manifested in so many other ways in Christs life.  This makes total sense as Jesus is God, while Moses is/was not.  Finally, the holiness of God is not only shown over and over in scripture, but also emphasized over and over in scripture;
"Then He said, 'Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.'" (Exodus 3:5/NKJV)

"Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness,..." (Exodus 15:11/NKJV)

"For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy...You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. " (Leviticus 11:44-45/NKJV - see also Leviticus 19:2, 20:7)

"No one is holy like the LORD,..." (1 Samuel 2:2a/NKJV)

"The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; let the earth be moved! The LORD is great in Zion, and He is high above all the peoples. Let them praise Your great and awesome name—He is holy." (Psalm 99:1-3/NKJV)

"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!' (Isaiah 6:1-3/NKJV)

"...but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy.'” (1 Peter 1:15-16/NKJV)

"Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy...." (Revelation 15:4/NKJV)

   A bove is a brief list of some scriptures which show God's holiness and as in the case of God - the Creator of all, there are many scriptures which show this quality of God.  In fact there are too many to be listed here.  I would encourage anyone wanting to study this quality to begin by looking up the scriptures about God's holiness by using the appropriate books** and also using reliable sources**.

*NOTE: for an excellent article on the holiness of God see here.
**NOTE: other sources on the holiness of God;
"Simul iustus et peccator"*
*Martin Luther

scripture sources;
Bible Gateway
image source;
Phoenix Nebula
original art by Greg Martin

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